Discussion in 'ASUS' started by Sifter3000, 7 Aug 2009.
ah damn, i'm afraid being one of the lucky ones from last week disqualifies me from venting all my frustrations in here...
memory compatibility issue was the most annoying. and sometimes unstable memory such as when keep getting blue screens in windows installations.
another frustrating problem is need another CPU to flash the BIOS to one that supports the 45nm quad core.
most complex problem i've had was a "checking memory" error code displayed on the LED, even when the memory have been downclocked and confirmed 100% stable. turned out to be the 8800GTX had connection problems. clear error message on LED is most important
Ram Problems. Ram Problems. Ram Problems.
After spending hours and days testing my ram after recieving constant BSODS, and testing each stick one by one I STILL got BSODS - So I rang Crucial about this BallistiX Ram and they got me to send the FOUR sticks back and they sent me four brand new ones But guess what? A few months down the line BAM a BSOD! I died a little inside knowing that again it was definatley the ram as the BSOD read "MEMORY_MANAGEMENT" , So again i tested and tested and tested and tested. Sent 2 of them back because 2 of them seemed to work and they sent me 2 new ones. Then everything was fine until the other 2 ones stopped working so i sent them back and at this time i had 4 new sticks Ofcourse knowing my luck they all broke again, same process *repeat* until the finally said okay we are going to send you some BallistiX Tracer RAM much better and revised and we will even cover the postage cost for you!
Got the RAM and am still using it to date with know problem! Although they refused to cover the postage in the end......
In 2005 a friend of mine wanted to upgrade so he could have a powerful rig for his music production, at the time he was running an AMD duron with 512mb of ram. Now around that time I had built a fair few rigs and what he wanted was nothing out of the ordinary just a p4 3 GHz, 2 GB of ram and a cheapy graphics card in a nice case.
At the time I was working for EA in tech support and at times it would be quite dead so this gave me time out in the day to sling all his new kit into his shiny new box. The build went well and was simple, the OS installed as normal and all seemed well. I left his rig at work as I had some software he gave me to install for him (yes he could make great music but had no idea how to install software).
The next day upon returning to work I fired up his machine to begin the install, windows booted and BSOD. I thought ok fair enough might be a dodgy dim so I went safe and unplugged everything and went diagnostic.
Over the following week I had tested everything even to the point where I had replaced every component with identical kit and still all I got was BSOD. The crazy thing was that every BSOD had a different error, no two were the same.
Having exhausted myself and my manager’s patience I took the machine to some friends to see if they could find something I had missed. To keep this from getting to long a story the machine went through 5 tekky guys as well as a few local businesses I knew well who were very good and this was over the course of 12 months.
Eventually I was handed back the rig and I was going to launch the machine out the back door into the bin and thought I would give it one more try. I stripped the innards like I had done before so many times and built up the rig step by step each time adding another part and each time no BSOD until it was fully built in the box and job done. My friend still uses the machine today and not a single BSOD to date that I know of. He does ask me to pop round every now and then when he wants some new software or needs some help using the thing.
I have never ever been able to work out why his machine did what it did and there really is no logical explanation. For me it really is one of those X files moments in my computing life.
when building a pc my reat fear is that when i place it together it does not run. and there is generally no method of informing why, or i need another device to provide checks on faulty equipment
for example i get a mobo and cpu but the mobo requires a bios update to run with that cpu however being a new build i do not have a compatible cpu that fits the socket!!
Likewise when i buy a new PC with say a PCIe GPU and the display fails to turn on, say this is my first pcie GPU. is that at fault or the mobo
same can be said with any new hardware that is not compatible with older versions
PSUs / GPU / CPU / SSD / PCIe1xdevices
what would be nice is for a method of
1.) upgrading bios without cpu required
2.) indicative Lights on mobo or any device for that matter saying reliably whether that part is working or not
Red not working
amber working not enabled
green Working as intended
my guess would be a peice of dust / grime in an odd place that just happenend to get cleared the last time you built it
you cant get much more annoying than that
Very simple, yet still unexplained problem : (on a p6T deluxe... which I kept and still use)
I built my system, plugged my shiny 1TB Spinpoint F1. Everything went fine, installed Vista, no hitches.
Then I powered it off, and decided I was going to reroute some cables, including the SATA one from my HDD.
Thus I unplugged it, rerouted it, and replugged it in. Lest did I know it was in a different SATA plug.
When booting up, the system would tell my "insert disk and press X to boot." But wait, I have my HDD inside, with a fresh Vista ! So I reboot it, and check the Bios : the HDD is there, but doesn't appear in the bootable device list nor is selectable !!
So I wonder if it's the HDD, thinking of RMA'ing it (would take some time, online retailer, brand new PC would have to wait as it's the only sata HDD I have). So I fiddle, try stuff, and while unplugging it and replugging it in another connector, lo and behold, the OS booted just fine !
I still wonder why some connectors on the Mobo won't allow the device to be bootable yet detect them and display all the right info. Haven't tried the plugs with a different HDD since.
another small niggle (less frustrating) was that my IDE cable was not the good one (a 40 conductor vs. a 80 conductor) so the DVD drive didn't have enough bandwidth to read the disk and tranfer the data properly. Thus installation of an OS wasn't possible, I got some errors from the installer.
I think the most frustrating were power related. First was a dicky power supply, because it was just so intermittent. One minute I'd be cruising along nicely, next minute full system hang - no BSOD, nothing, just a complete freeze. I tried every component, thinking it might be the motherboard, RAM, or CPU. I went for a full reinstall on a new HDD in case it was a software / disk issue. And all to no avail. It was only as a last resort that I considered the (no-name, el cheapo, bundled with case) PSU might not be delivering the right voltage. Ever since then I've used quality branded PSUs, and never for a second regret the cost. It is worth every penny for rock solid voltages, which (as I discovered to my detriment) are essential for system stability.
A similar thing happened with new a graphics card I had. Newly installed, it worked like a dream (Radeon 9600 Pro, IIRC). I wasn't overclocking, everything was at factory speeds and voltages, but it would bomb during intensive gaming. Tried a number of things, including reseating the card, all without success. Then I upped the AGP voltage in the BIOS, and lo and behold it worked fine, no problems ever again.
Other frustrations have been to do with the logistics of building a system, like downloading modem / network drivers (ahh, those were the days) without another PC to hand or a network connection; or how about getting into the BIOS to tell it to boot from CD, when all you have to hand is a USB keyboard and the BIOS (this is a few years back mind) only recognised PS/2?
Still, building PCs these days is a piece of cake compared to the mid-90s (showing my age) when you had to get MS-DOS up and running from floppy, guddle about with CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT to get various proprietary hardware initialised properly while still retaining enough base memory (the first 640kB) to actually do anything, then install Windows 95 from your 2x CD-ROM drive using the command prompt. Don't forget to plug the analogue audio cable from the CD drive into your sound card if you actually want to play a CD, and you better hope the driver for your 28.8kbps modem that came on floppy works and you don't get any IRQ conflicts, because otherwise you're never going to be able to get onto the bulletin board...
The fact that 1 cable has been left out and you can't get to it because the PCI-E or PSU is in the way, and it has to come back out again. I always forget one cable and some of the connections and so had to reach, the old 12v wire was always top right, so when the CPU cooler and PSU where in place in a small case it was very hard to plug it in. Otherwise just general RAM and BIOS problems.
Well, apart from the general ninja moves needed to get some fan headers on after the board is in, and to get a triple radiator in the top of a Cosmos S, the only real problem I have ever had is the RAM. Without a shadow of a doubt.
As most people, I would imagine, I didn't bother checking the QVL for my Rampage Extreme, and just went ahead and bought the best deal RAM I could find. I ended up with some OCZ XMP 1333MHz sticks, which were a great price, and not too shabby.
I had finished setting my build up, with everything where it should be, and fired up the system. Nothing. OH NOES! (Come on, it is everyone's worst fear, surely?)
I turned it off, and went over everything. Being the dozy bugger I am, I hadn't plugged in the 8 and 6 pin power cables for my X2. D'Oh!
Turned it on again, got the reassuring *beep* letting me know the card is fine (phew!), and then installed Windows. However, after getting in to Windows for the first time, got a BSOD. My heart sank.
So, I figured I would reseat the RAM (it works a surprising number of times I have found). Then when I booted up my PC, the LCD Poster (frickin' great addition!) seemed stuck on "DET DRAM". ARGH! Reboot, into BIOS, and checked the auto settings for my RAM timings. It had been trying to overclock them! So I set everything manually (speed, timings, voltage) and haven't had a problem since.
I still don't know to this day whether the sticks are on the QVL, but I might have a look out of curiosity.
When I read about this Mem OK! feature, I was surprised I hadn't thought of it myself. it sounds like a great idea, and is bound to save a lot of people from a lot of headaches.
Just finding which component was causing all the problems! When i first water-cooled my hole system it refused to boot, and the error messages keeped changing! It took me days to find out my cpu was not seated properly, and as well as that two of my RAM sticks were duds. What I could have done with is a system of LEDs that lite up if there respective componant is faulty
I gave my homebuilt pc a bit of a clean out inside before a LAN. When I got to the LAN it wouldn't boot. It took me a while to find but a ball of dust had found it's way into the jupers on the back of the CD drive. I cleared that & it was fine after. Very strange.
As for when building a PC, just dropping small screws & having them end up under the motherboard gets on my tits !
Crappy case design!
For all the systems I've built, I have used a variety of different cases for different reasons. Some have turned out to be great to work with but a few have been downright painful. Sliced fingers, components that just simply won't fit as the case wasn't designed properly, poor tolerances so you're having to bend something in or out before you can attach the component and just plain sloppy construction are my top complaints.
Luckily I have always had enough spare parts so if I got a bad component for a build I could grab something else or put the componet in a different system to verify if it was good or not but the case isn't a "it turns or or it doesn't" scenario...
I can't afford going to the UK right now, but here's my frustrations..
My motherboard was stable with 2.1v Ram, but whenever the machine crashed or rebooted, It would boot with 1.8v to the Dimms, resulting in no signal to the monitor. The fix was to take out all dimms, powershuffle, install one dimm, set voltages back up to 2.1v and then install the other dimms. This was on several Asus motherboards. As a consequense I never buy premium RAM with huge heatsinks, only Ram with the motherboards standard volt.
My sisters PC had such a crappy mainboard, An ASRock $50 cheapo, and when i installed it we never got the audio to work at all, it was just broken. It was such a cheap motherboard it would cost more to RMA it than it's initial price, so I just gave her my old Soundcard and bought myself a X-fi.
TGImages: yes, those I/O backplates are like razors!! I was going to rma my motherboard once, and discovered my IO plate was covered in blood :S
My biggest problems so far have with PSU's.
I've been living away at uni for 2 years and each September so far the PSU in my machine has blown on the first day back. Both were Hiper branded models, the second a replacement for the first one.
The first replacement PSU I got also went bang at around 3 am one night. Scared me witless, once I worked out what it was I switched the power off at the mains. In doing so I switched off my alarm clock and managed to be late to my lectures the next day. Just my luck
The Coolermaster branded PSU seems to be more reliable, whilst the Hiper PSU sits in a corner, waiting to be sent back (It's been there since Oct 08, still haven't got around to it).
I wanted to install a 1TB harddrive into my HTPC (now long in the tooth, an Athlon XP 2GHz bad bay). Unfortunately, the VIA (bah!) chipset is only SATA-I. My brand spanking new shiny Samsung drive is SATA-II. No big deal, thinks I. So I plug it in and power up the rig. No dice. It isn't detected by the BIOS. Uh oh.
Now my HTPC's in bits. And my main rig is lacking an OS for some reason. So I borrow my sister's PC, download some bootable harddrive tool CDs from Samsung. And then spend the better part of 4 hours trawling through FAQs and whatnot, finding how to force SATA-I mode. Now this should be simple to do; plug the drive into a motherboard, run a software utility and change a setting. So I plug the drive into my main rig (nForce SATA-II goodness) and start bashing away through menu options. Shock! Horror! The option is greyed out. Damn! Off to read more FAQs.
Several more hours of cocking about ensue. The result of which is me messing up the drive, making it think it's only 12GB big (or some other stupid mistake). Still no SATA-I compatibility and now it's not even allocating all of the platters when it does show up in a BIOS.
So I RMA the drive to ebuyer the next day (stellar customer service, I must say!) and buy a Seagate 1TB drive. The drive arrives and to force SATA-I mode, I place a jumper on two pins. That's it. No messing around finding .isos, burning CDs, looking for non-existant options. I just plug it into my HTPC and it's detected straight away.
So the moral of the story?
1. Always stick to your favourite brand (Seagate for me!)
2. Use a reputable e-tailer with good customer service
3. If it can be solved with hardware. Bloody put a jumper for it! Moving that option into software ruined Samsung's reputation for me. Imagine if I didn't even have a SATA-II board I could use to connect it to.
4. Oh, and make sure the software solution actually works!
The most annoying thing - easy, I even did it today! Tell someone near by that I'm going to do something and that I must not forget and I'll forget. For example, (today) my colleague and I are luckly enough to be evaluating Windows 7 for work and we've noticed an issue with 64bit 7 and having AHCI enabled.
So, I say to my colleague "I must not forget to enable AHCI, in fact I won't forget!"
"Press any key to boot from CD/DVD..."
Me: "ARRRGH! 8#*%~@>$!"
Me: "Completely forgot to freakin' enable AHCI!"
Andy: AWWW! *Sniggers!*
That's the most annoying thing I face when building PCs.
Building my fathers new PC.
Four months ago it was time to replace his aging Pentium D setup with a brand new Nehalem & X58 Board. I did alot of research on the parts over the course of a few weeks and finally settled on the DFI X58 board as I've used about 5 or 6 different DFI boards over the years for myself and friends with problems or issues I couldnt solve myself.
So anyway once I ordered the parts for him he insisted on putting it together himself (being an engineer he enjoys it or so he thought!) a few days after the build he started to configured the RAID array to store his vast collection of photos he scanned in from a strip scanner & copy them over from the Pentium D setup (had a nasty RAID scare on the Pent-D a few months ago wont get into that). Everything was fine for a few days and then all of a sudden I kept getting phone calls from him to say the BIOS was clearing itself & occasionally the machine wouldnt POST. Not good when he has just transferered over 40,000 images he's scanned in from old slides etc!
So, you do the usual things, swap memory slots, swap memory modules, flash BIOS, swap PSU, contact mobo customer support, flash beta BIOS, strip down to minimal components, RMA the motherboard. The only common we saw factor was when it was disconnected from the mains it would clear the BIOS & sometimes not even POST. This went on for about a month and a half desperatley trying to figure out why this was happening.
It had gotten to the point where we were ready to buy a different brand of motherboard and start again to see if it was an issue. Then on the off chance thinking it might be something environmental in the case we took the motherboard out and had it all running on the table, bare and naked with no case and none of the case power controls.
We did several tests over the next few hours and discovered it was an issue with the soft power controls on the actual case (Coolermaster RC-1100 Cosmos S) causing the motherboard to clear its BIOS & not post occasionally when it was disconnected from the mains! We nearly choked laughing after spending so long trying to solve the problem it was as simple as that! He solved this issue by putting some hard wired power buttons in from maplins and cutting some nice holes in the case for giant Stop/Start buttons!
So my new rule of thumb is: At your wits end with weird hardware problems? Get that motherboard naked!
Right Angle Sata Sockets on most forward edge of motherboards - causing issue via sata cable plug protruding to far forward as to clash with drive cage resulting in trying to find hard to find Sata Cabled with smaller plugs or physically cutting the plug plastic so as to force a bend sooner.
Ram heatsinks - like OCZ Reaper being overly high with the heatpipe & fins as to clash with CPU heatsinks - I would like a set spec that manufacturers should design heatsinks to a certain maximum dimensions and zone'ing where they must not overlap.
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